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Major Blink - C16 port to the A8


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#1 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 11:28 AM

I recently ported my old Baby Berks C16 game to the A8 and uploaded it on the forum. Baby Berks was originally a cut down version of Berks 1 - initially created to be typed in from a magazine listing. I've now converted the second game in the Berks Trilogy ... Major Blink. The game dates from1985 and I haven't made any major (excuse the pun) updates to the gameplay. The original program had to run in 16K and this version should happily run in 32K. I've tested it on my PAL 130XE and in NTSC & PAL in Altirra. The game makes a few simple changes to compensate for the different NTSC frame rate but I haven't been able to test this on real hardware.

 

The game is a simple one; roam around the screen filling in the boxes while avoiding Diamond Geezers and Cool Bears (don't ask). There are eight different screen layouts chosen at random - repeating when they've all been cleared. Larger boxes contain a random bonus based on your entry skill setting. Fill in the box to gain the bonus. The Cool Bears appear at the top of the screen and work their way down, un-filling squares as they move. Diamonds inexorably move towards you but can be 'stunned' for a short while before setting off again. It's important to note that you must complete a screen before the bonus counter reaches zero or it's Game Over!

 

  • You can select a skill rating on the title page and this determines your entry position in a skill range of 1 to 16. The game gradually gets more difficult as you progress through the skill levels.
  • The skill level increases by one for every screen completed and you gain an extra life for every four screens completed.
  • High-Scores are kept for each of the five entry skill ratings - this is to counter somebody starting at the lowest skill level to gain extra lives.
  • Major Blink moves along the lanes in the chosen direction but if you release the joystick it will continue moving to a crossroads before stopping. You can reverse his direction at any time while he is moving.
  • Cool Bears randomly choose a lane to start from but will not regenerate while you're in the top 'green zone'.
  • Pressing the Space Bar will pause or un-pause the game.

 

There are a few tactics that will help you complete screens successfully but I'll leave that for you to work out. Changing direction takes a bit of practice so a good joystick is advisable.

 

Finally, the game is very much 'old school' and may not appeal to everyone. I make no apologies for the limited and repetitive sound effects - you may need to keep the volume low before you go ga-ga like I have over the past few weeks. ;-)

 

Jon

 

PS. Please let me know if you find any serious issues.

 

 

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#2 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 11:56 AM

Just played up to screen 5 and really enjoyed the mix of game play, its an old classic fill 'em up and it looks and sounds as it should but a playing around with new sfx might be nice :) (argh...Missed it in the post...Gone ga ga without the game)  :)

 

Its bright, cheerful and hard. (later)..Whats not to like...

 

No obvious problems here good sir...

 

Thank you...

 

Paul..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Sat Sep 8, 2018 12:45 PM.


#3 tjlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 12:42 PM

Nice!



#4 Mr.Bacardi OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 1:27 PM

I don't know the original C16 game, but the Atari version looks and plays great! :)

Thanks so much Jon!



#5 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 2:20 PM

Thanks Jon! A Plus/4 is on my shopping list....

#6 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 3:03 PM

Buying one for Angela Merkel ;)



#7 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 3:04 PM

Thank you very much!



#8 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 3:54 PM

This is a fun game!

 

I've enjoyed this, though I feel like I am a graffiti artist and the Cool Bears are Council staff removing it.

 

I used to be a Councillor, would I have been permitted to play this?

 

I am so confused.


Edited by snicklin, Sat Sep 8, 2018 3:54 PM.


#9 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 4:44 PM

I already got in trouble for playing baby berks v2 too much... now you've gone and done it.... another game?

Having no choice but to sample your works....  I hope this is as much fun as the last.... er um yeah, honey I'm testing out this computer I fixed... yeah that's the ticket!



#10 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 5:31 PM

Thank you the Berks series of games were much loved on my old  Commodore Plus 4 is there any plans for Berks 3?


Edited by 256 colors, Sat Sep 8, 2018 5:31 PM.


#11 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 6:37 PM

Really fun game! I love the remix of classic corridor-shooting and territory-grab game mechanics; this makes the game feel like a lost classic, despite being brand new. Well done, sir! :)

#12 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 3:33 AM

Thank you the Berks series of games were much loved on my old  Commodore Plus 4 is there any plans for Berks 3?

 

I'm not too sure what to do next. I converted the two games mainly to get back into the swing of 6502 coding - I was pleasantly surprised how it all came flooding back. I was thinking about Berks 3 but might want to expand it from the 16K limitation ... maybe Berks 3+ or even Berks 4 if it was enhanced enough.  



#13 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 3:45 AM

 

I'm not too sure what to do next. I converted the two games mainly to get back into the swing of 6502 coding - I was pleasantly surprised how it all came flooding back. I was thinking about Berks 3 but might want to expand it from the 16K limitation ... maybe Berks 3+ or even Berks 4 if it was enhanced enough.  

Yep sounds really really cool a Berks 3+ or Berks 4 with maybe 2 player co-op mode or something?

I know this much grand kids couldn't careless about the ps4 any more since playing Baby Berks and now Major Blink


Edited by 256 colors, Sun Sep 9, 2018 3:50 AM.


#14 Stormtrooper of Death OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 4:23 AM

Nice little game. just played it with the Altira emulator and I like it. Thanks for this conversion, Jon



#15 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:43 AM

Nice !!

 

Where do I find Baby Berks ?

Great to have you back on the A8 programming Jon !



#16 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:48 AM

Nice !!

 

Where do I find Baby Berks ?

Great to have you back on the A8 programming Jon !

http://atariage.com/...ttach_id=582803



#17 Sikor OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:05 PM

Wow! What a nice game. Thx!



#18 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:55 PM

Love it !

 

Very polished....has elements of Amidar (which I love) and Eyes in it. Your style is also very recognizable Jon ! 

 

I found it funny to see the Atari rainbows on the C16 version video :D 

I did come quite far on the first games though...could be a bit harder maybe ? :D 



#19 Jinroh OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:43 PM

Man this game is so rad! :)

 

Glad to be able to play it on the A8!

 

I'll try it on my hardware this weekend, but enjoying it on Altirra so far! :) Love it!



#20 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:00 AM

Thanks Jon! A Plus/4 is on my shopping list....

I would use ultra extreme caution buying a Commodore Plus 4 or C16 those MOS TED chips are very notorious for going bad along with the CPU chips

Hard too find and very over priced


Edited by 256 colors, Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:20 AM.


#21 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:10 AM

Eek, good warning then...



#22 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:23 AM

Eek, good warning then...

£30+ if not more for a working chip IF you can find one



#23 José Pereira OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:29 AM

Hi.

Very Very Nice.

Just saw your games including this serie on MobyGames. There's other Berks that seems 'equal?' as is Baby Berks but with different gfxs. Any plans also to convert it onto A8?

P.s.- Or those screenshots are in 'later?' in later levels (When entering "Berks" on 'SEARCH' box it says "Baby Berks" aka "Berks").

:thumbsup:


Edited by José Pereira, Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:32 AM.


#24 Nojeee OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:11 AM

I really appreciate the kind comments - it's nice to see the Berks games getting a second lease of life.

 

I did come quite far on the first games though...could be a bit harder maybe ? :D

 

That's a very fair point. I find it difficult to set the right level of difficulty ... if you excuse the pun ;-). There's a balance between making it too easy so people can't be bothered to play until it gets challenging and making it too hard which makes people get frustrated and put it down. When you get to skill level 16 on Major Blink there are 6 Bears and 6 Diamonds which chase at a pretty fast speed. However, after lots of practice I found I could often complete the screens at that level so the game does silently increase the Diamond's speed a few times more.

 

£30+ if not more for a working chip IF you can find one

 

The Plus/4 was a really nice machine but it's true that the TED chip seems prone to failure. When I powered on my own Plus/4 after it had been in store for many years it had failed. Luckily, I managed to get an 'untested' one on eBay without any power supply and it surprisingly worked first time. Fully working ones are going for silly money at the moment.

 

Hi.

Very Very Nice.

Just saw your games including this serie on MobyGames. There's other Berks that seems 'equal?' as is Baby Berks but with different gfxs. Any plans also to convert it onto A8?

P.s.- Or those screenshots are in 'later?' in later levels (When entering "Berks" on 'SEARCH' box it says "Baby Berks" aka "Berks").

:thumbsup:

 

The first Berks game was very similar to Baby Berks with multiple single screens to clear. NB. Major Blink was initially intended to be a stand alone game but the publisher wanted to add the Berks 2 tag line.

 

Berks 3 was an expanded version of Berks 1 and allowed the player to move from screen to screen in search of keys to open the final 'gates' (a bit like good old Shamus on the A8). The game only just squeezed into 16K; when I checked recently it had 10 bytes free ;). I was considering porting it to the A8 but think it might be better to use it as the basis of a larger, improved version. I hope, one way or another, that Berks 3 will make it's way to the A8 sometime.

 

 



#25 256 colors OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:06 AM

Insane amount of money if both the CPU and TED chips goes tits up

 

£61 for the CPU chip

https://www.ebay.co....tcAAOSwmoxZrP89

 

£30+ for a TED chip

 

and that's without all the hassle of postage and packaging costs


Edited by 256 colors, Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:10 AM.





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